The newly re-branded Charlotte Hornets are looking to be a factor in the NBA's Eastern Conference during the upcoming season, but the organization announced even bigger plans Tuesday.
According to NBA.com, the Hornets and the city of Charlotte, North Carolina will submit a bid to host NBA All-Star Weekend at Time Warner Cable Arena in either 2017 or 2018.
The announcement was officially made by Charlotte Sports Foundation executive director Will Webb, per NBA.com.
On behalf of everyone involved, we are very excited to announce that we will submit an official bid this afternoon for Charlotte to host NBA All-Star Weekend. The overwhelming support for the Hornets during their playoff run and re-branding has proven the passion Charlotte has for the NBA. And the worldwide fan base of the NBA makes this a perfect opportunity to showcase Charlotte and Time Warner Cable Arena on a global stage.
The Hornets' official Twitter account released a photo of the contingent that will travel to New York City in order to submit the bid:
Also, Mark Davenport of WBTV News offered a closer look at the bid, which is fittingly encased in a honeycomb:
As seen in this photo courtesy of Fox Sports Hoops, the Hornets certainly seem to boast a venue worthy of hosting the All-Star festivities:
Winning the bid would be a huge step forward for what has largely been a moribund franchise since its inception in 2004. The original Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002, but Charlotte received an expansion franchise two years later in the form of the Bobcats.
With the New Orleans Hornets changing their name to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Bobcats jumped at the opportunity to snag the Hornets name and restore the tradition that Charlotte's NBA franchise had been missing since returning in 2004.
Now that Charlotte is trending in an upward direction, Hornets Sports and Entertainment president Fred Whitfield believes that now is the right time for the city to pursue an All-Star Game, according to NBA.com.
It is our honor to submit our bid for the city of Charlotte to host a future All-Star Weekend. The Charlotte Sports Foundation and other community and business leaders have urged us to undertake this effort and have pledged their full support. We are grateful for their backing and look forward to once again having the chance to bring international acclaim to the city of Charlotte. With the return of the Hornets name and our team on the rise, we feel like this is the perfect time for Charlotte to host an All-Star Game and we are confident in our chances for success.
Among those who are hopeful that the Hornets will come out on the winning end is Olympic track star Manteo Mitchell:
If the Hornets are successful in their bid, it will mark the first time that the city of Charlotte has hosted the NBA All-Star Game since three years after the Hornets' initial inception, per Brett Jensen of FoxSports.com:
There is a great deal of buzz surrounding the Hornets with stars like Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson already in place along with the recent signing of guard Lance Stephenson. Add in the presence of NBA legend Michael Jordan as the franchise's principal owner and seemingly everything is working in Charlotte's favor.
Hosting the All-Star Game in 2017 or 2018 is far from a done deal, but Jordan likely has so much pull within the league that it is safe to assume Charlotte will be able to secure one of those games at the conclusion of the bidding process.
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